Getting a Handle on Team Collaboration

Like many new technologies recently, team collaboration gained a foothold in the enterprise before IT and communications teams really had the chance to make a plan for how to take advantage of it -- and to safeguard against its risks.

Many enterprises are now trying to get in front of the team collaboration momentum that's gathering among their end users. As Irwin Lazar of Nemertes Research wrote in this recent No Jitter post, being proactive is key to mitigating the risks as well as taking advantage of the benefits that team collaboration presents.

Irwin's post offers five practical steps for enterprises seeking to plan more proactively for their team collaboration implementation. The final point he mentions is the one that enterprise IT always worries about more than their end users do: security. The fundamental fact is that communications within team collaboration applications are no different from any other medium: "Conversations within team collaboration applications should come under the same governance policies as other internal and external communications (e.g. email, instant messaging, etc.)," Irwin writes.

In a follow-up No Jitter post, Irwin builds on the notion of just what constitutes team collaboration: "While messaging apps may provide the 'glue' that delivers a primary workspace," he writes, "the ability to integrate additional applications for task and project management, file sharing and editing, ideation and virtual group collaboration, as well as workflow integration, are all critical elements in providing teams with the tools they need to effectively collaborate both inside and outside your organization."

Indeed, persistent chat rooms, while a step up from more temporal instant messaging applications, are not exactly new. What's new, and potentially transformative, about team collaboration is the ability to integrate myriad different applications and systems that can then make the team collaboration app a true platform for the next iteration of enterprise communications for knowledge workers.

It's still early days for team collaboration: Nemertes data from 2017 showed that about 28% of companies had adopted it or planned to do so by the end of last year. Another 30% said they are planning to adopt in 2018 or evaluating the potential. The issues around security and compliance suggest that this should be at least an area of active study for most enterprises.

For those who'd like to learn more about both the threat and opportunity of team collaboration -- security and integration -- No Jitter and Enterprise Connect will host a webinar on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, sponsored by Symphony, in which Irwin Lazar will be the presenter. I'm looking forward to getting a deeper dive on how enterprises should approach these critical aspects of an important new technology. You can sign up for the webinar here.

And learn more about Team Collaboration at Enterprise Connect 2018, March 12 to 15, in Orlando, Fla. Register now using the code NOJITTER to save an additional $200 off the Early Bird Pricing or get a free Expo Plus pass.

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